By Modupe Gbadeyanka
One of Nigeria’s leading commercial banks, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, has announced the launch of a Virtual Arts Gallery called ART635.
The initiative was created to reignite interest in African art and drive the growth and development of the local art industry, the company explained in a press statement issued on Monday.
It said the Art635 is a foremost online repository of African artworks that is set to serve as a leading platform for the promotion of indigenous artists across the continent.
GTBank noted that the gallery will significantly expand the exposure of artists, provide an enabling platform for the marketing of their works and serve as a much needed motivation for the further development of their artistic skills and talents.
The launch of ART635 is the latest of the Bank’s sustained efforts to promote African arts locally and internationally.
Arts is one of the four pillars of GTBank’s Corporate Social Responsibility policy and the Bank’s support for Arts over the years ranges from collecting art work from Nigerian artists, to partner with Tate and other Art institutions to promote the value of African Art in Africa and the international markets through project-lead initiatives.
With ART635, the bank aims to further its support for African arts by helping African artworks become not just more seen and appreciated, but also to turn them into a much more profitable and commercially viable venture for indigenous artists who currently earn very little from their works.
Commenting on the initiative, GTBank’s Managing Director, Mr Segun Agbaje, disclosed that, “At GTBank we see art as an avenue for unlocking people’s creative potential and by creating ART635 we aim to expand the opportunities for art education as well as broaden the reach and viewership of the works of indigenous artists.”
He said, “Although African art goes back several centuries, the art industry in the continent is still young and largely untapped and we hope that with ART635 we can drive its evolution into a lucrative and vibrant economic sector.”